In the next week AFSCME, Americans United for Change, USAction and a consortium of groups including the AFL-CIO, SEIU, True Majority, and MoveOn are coming together to hold more than 200 events all across the nation focusing on SCHIP, the health care program for low-income children. We are launching a paid advertising campaign and will flood Capitol Hill with hundreds of thousands of calls, letters and e-mails, all demanding that members of Congress vote to override President Bush's expected SCHIP veto.
The campaign we are launching will be big and bold. Over the next few months alone, coalition partners will spend $3 million to $5 million - with AFSCME putting in a significant chunk.
Why? Because the stakes are high.
They talk about supporting the troops but drop the ball when it counts. If Bush really wants to support the troops, he should bring them home and should not block our attempts to get funding for veterans.
This President was announcing his plans to veto health care for children while in the same breath asking for billions to fund his mismanaged and unpopular war with no end in Iraq.
AFSCME, Americans United for Change and USAction commissioned a poll to study public opinion on these issues and the results are clear: on issue after issue, America thinks George Bush has the wrong priorities.
We are locked in an epic battle with President Bush. A battle to preserve the role of the public services that keep our families safe and our communities strong. A battle over what kind of America we want to be.
This is a man in the twilight of his presidency - a presidency that has been characterized by mismanagement, misjudgments and misconduct. And with his last few gasps of presidential power he has chosen to bull-headedly charge forward with his failed policies and wrong priorities.
Congressional Democrats have been fighting the good fight here in Washington, standing for what's right and standing up to Bush and the Republican leaders on these issues.
But the truth is they can't do it alone. They need a mobilized America and that's what we're about. Today, we held a Capitol Hill press conference to launch our massive ground campaign to make sure that the voices of average Americans are heard in Washington, D.C.
AFSCME is putting significant resources behind this effort, because SCHIP and the battle over spending priorities is the most important fight since the showdown over privatizing Social Security. I don't think we need to remind Bush who won that battle.
This is more than a struggle over a single program or a line item in a budget - this is a fight over the type of country we want to live in.
Who in the world - besides George Bush - is against health care for children? Our polling shows that we have the strength of the American public on our side, and our ground campaign will ensure that Bush and the few holdouts that want to go down with his "stinking" ship get the message.